Leicester + Bosworth Trip for Richard III Project

So with our group decided and our general idea semi-fleshed out (as seen in previous posts). I arrived very early on a cold November morning awaiting the 61-seater coach which was yet to arrive. 45 minutes later with a coach full of people and extra car or two we made our to Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre

Cameras and mental notepads at the ready we began the tour with the visitor center first.

20151110_100257 Immediately we saw the art work and the tapestries depicting Richard III’s final battle. We saw the weapons, the armour and the depictions of the battle. It all helped produce a deep sense of imagery and proximity to the events that happened over 500 years ago.

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Excited by the ideas we were beginning to form we left with our group for a tour of the battle site which became a very confusing mess in the end. With us having no real idea where Richard III actually died or where the battle took place. There were several sites claiming to show where he had died or NEAR where he had died. Also nothing indicating where the battle had been NEVERTHELESS our determination kept us going forward as we took pictures and inspiration from the imagery bouncing ideas off each other.

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We were finally treated to a bird of prey show with a hawk and it’s trainer. Something Richard III would have taken use of for hunting at the time for definite. Even got a cheeky snap thanks to Ash with me and he hawk 😉

After which we took the coach for a lengthy trip to the city center where we grabbed some lunch at the local KFC. Despite Jake’s pleading to go the all you can Chinese place next door to KFC we only had 30 minutes to eat before we had to head to the other two sites.

leicester_catherdralLeicester Cathedral

So whilst pondering what makes a Cathedral a Cathedral (it’s the chair for the Bishop) we also had a look around at the final resting place of King Richard III. A beautiful building with lots of rich history and a place that’s clearly had a massive re-decoration effort with the beams of the roof being re-painted to every other little detail being tended to.

20151110_134421King Richard III Visitor Centre

We saw everything in there. Initially being treated to a short episodic film of his life we ventured into the main vistor area. Which showed a lot about his previous depictions throughout history and how the Tudors managed to re-write history pretty much on his defeat. They usually portrayed him an evil, poisonous man or simply just as a cripple.

From what I gathered all of those depictions were fairly untrue, yes he was no angel but he was a caricature now. William Shakespeare’s rendition of him played a huge role in that.

Despite his severe spinal deformity (which was shown in a plaster remake of his spine) he was able to be quite effective on horseback! The center even went into fairly elating details of his final moments which gave a real sense of his final moments. Reminded quite a lot of Alexander the greats charge at Darius at Gaugamela in 331 BC. A pivotal moment in history for an entire nation(s) of people decided by a very small amount of people. I think the historians there said King Richard III had 15,000 troops where as Henry Tudor had 5,000. So almost 25-26,000 people decided the future fate of an entire nation. Something we could definitely play on in our project as an element to whatever we decided to do.

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We later saw the car-park which was still really being used a car park where the body was found. An amazing site that had been preserved by almost complete luck. The volunteer historian who was speaking to us let us know that on all sides the body was under threat by buildings or construction so much so that his feet were crushed and lost. Another great thought/idea for our video to incorporate that in some way. Maybe playing on the idea that ‘even in death his existence was a struggle’. I DUNNO something like that maybe, I guess when you die your bodies forfeit anyway….not in a weird necrophiliac way though o_O….

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After which we spoke to the head of marketing for the visitors center and put across our questions. I made sure to ask about what target audience they identifying themselves currently with and who they wanted to attract.

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She said that they are currently only really attracting people who are soley interested in history and wanted to target people who were NEVER really interested in history of a younger persuasion. So there we go, we have our target audience in mind and that suits us just fine. It will slightly harder for me than the others in the group I’ll assume to identify with that audience as I actually LOVE history. Though I understand what we’ll need from the project in that we have to make it engaging for the average person. That’s probably why we’ll be going for the style of animation/narration as that Game of Thrones history video as that was actually very fun to watch!

So that was our day out to Leicester. Very eventful, very useful and quite informative. 10/10 would visit again! We’ve got plenty of ideas now for our project and can’t wait to crack on with them!

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